March 29, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

I regret it is not possible for the Postmaster General to be present. Perhaps the items are being passed faster than he anticipated. I would not wish to detain him for any length of time but I should like to say just a word with respect to the operations of the post office, having in mind in particular that at long last it has been decided to institute the five-day 40-hour week about two days hence. As the Postmaster General is aware, from questions which some

of us have put to him on the orders of the day and from questions which we have put on the order paper, some of which were answered today, a great many complaints are coming to us from employees of the Post Office Department. I take just this moment to make a further plea to the Postmaster General to the effect that the representations of the department's employees should receive greater consideration in working out the plans and arrangements for the five-day 40-hour week than appears to have been given. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction over certain details. For example, there is concern over the arrangements for annual leaves. There is also concern over the change being made so far as the night differential is concerned. Underlying all of these grievances is a basic grievance that these employees have, namely that the decisions are made at the top and are handed to them, and that their representations are not given the consideration which they deserve.
In the Department of Labour there is an excellent labour-management co-operation service. I think the services of that branch of the Department of Labour might be made available to the Post Office Department in order to help them work out these arrangements on a more satisfactory basis. I will not take the time of the committee to go into the matter further now but I plead for further consideration of the representations being made to the department by the post office employees themselves.

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